Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 Brings the Mixed Reality Dream to Life

Kevin Carbotte round

By Kevin Carbotte

In 2015, Microsoft shocked the world with the reveal of the HoloLens mixed reality device and the promise of blending the real world with virtual computing environments for greater productivity. The first iteration of the HoloLens, while impressive, fell far short of the vision that Microsoft put forward when it announced its mixed reality dreams. 

HoloLens wasn’t as intuitive as it needed to be, the field of view was too small for practical use, and it wasn’t very comfortable to wear for extended periods. Couple that that with a high price tag and limited availability, and it’s pretty easy to see why most people have never seen a HoloLens headset, and even fewer have ever used one for anything practical.

HoloLens 2 Changes Everything

The first HoloLens was somewhat of a proof of concept, but the second HoloLens is a much bigger deal. Microsoft went back to the drawing board and redesigned everything about the HoloLens platform and came out with something truly revolutionary. The HoloLens 2 is more powerful, has improved optics, has a superior ergonomic design, and the new interaction method is far more intuitive. In short, HoloLens 2 is a much better realization of Microsoft’s vision for mixed reality. 

Ergonomics

HoloLens 2 features an ergonomic, balanced design that is comfortable to wear for extended periods. Microsoft built all of the computational components into the rear of the head strap, which helps to balance the weight evenly on your head.

The headset easily adapts to virtually anyone’s head. The sides are on a tensioner that gives enough pressure to sit securely. The strap doesn’t have any adjustment nobs or Velcro to attach, which makes it about as easy to put on as a baseball cap. 

Convenience Features

When designing HoloLens 2, Microsoft set out to make it a much more useable and practical device compared to the first HoloLens. That meant packing in features that would make using HoloLens 2 a breeze. If it’s cumbersome, no one will take advantage of the technology.

HoloLens 2 simplifies everything with its Instinctual Interactions. Put simply, the way you interact with digital assets in a HoloLens 2 is intuitive and straightforward. If you need to move or manipulate a virtual object, reach out and pinch it. Need to press a button? Go ahead and push it. Interacting with HoloLens assets is just like interacting with real-world objects, minus the physical sensation of touching something.

Microsoft made it easy to use your hands to interact with HoloLens, but that’s not the only way to control things. HoloLens 2 has full support for Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant, so you don’t even need to stop what you’re doing to change what you see on your screen. 

Jump In and Out in a Flash

Microsoft designed the HoloLens 2 to wear for extended periods, but the company also acknowledges that it’s not always practical to look through a visor for everything. For example, you probably don’t want a digital display on your face while talking to someone else. For that reason, the HoloLens 2 includes a flip-up visor so you can get it out of the way when you need to without taking the whole headset off. You can quickly jump in and out of the digital experience in a fraction of a second. 

Biometric Security

In today’s day and age, you can never be too careful with
your digital information. That’s why HoloLens 2 supports Microsoft’s latest
advancements in biometric security, allowing you to unlock the device with a quick iris scan.

If biometric security isn’t your cup of tea, or your wish to
share your HoloLens with a handful of users, you can still use a security pin
to lock down the headset, but the iris scan gives you an added level of
security protection. 

Biometric Security

In today’s day and age, you can never be too careful with
your digital information. That’s why HoloLens 2 supports Microsoft’s latest
advancements in biometric security, allowing you to unlock the device with a quick iris scan.

If biometric security isn’t your cup of tea, or your wish to
share your HoloLens with a handful of users, you can still use a security pin
to lock down the headset, but the iris scan gives you an added level of
security protection. 

Built for Enterprise

Microsoft HoloLens 2 was built for enterprise companies to empower their workforce to be more productive and more efficient. It’s intended for maintenance people working on complex equipment; it’s intended to help warehouse workers locate what they’re looking for quicker; it’s intended for medical students who need to learn about a procedure without performing it first hand.

 

HoloLens 2 isn’t quite ready for mainstream, but it’s a game-changer for big companies by reducing costs associated with mistakes, inadequate training, and inefficient procedures. 

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